EVs Dominate 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show


One of many all-electric SUVs to debut at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Hyundai Seven concept hints at a new SUV model coming to the Ioniq family, the company’s dedicated battery electric vehicle brand. (Hyundai)

By Sebastian Blanco

This weekend, the Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public, and electric vehicles (EVs) will be on full display. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as the show’s organizers built this year’s event around four pillars: autonomy, connectivity, electrification, and sharing.

The electric column included vehicle debuts like the Nissan Ariya SUV and two electric SUVs from new entrant VinFast. Indeed, electric SUVs were a definite theme at the show this year. There was also the Hyundai Seven, a preview of a large electric SUV with an open, lounge-like interior. The production version could arrive in or around 2024, likely with a more standard cabin and a range of around 300 miles.

Hyundai’s corporate partner Kia introduced the EV9, a concept EV around the size of a Telluride SUV, previewing an upcoming large EV. Like the Seven, a 300-mile range is likely for the eventual production version of the EV9.

Fisker also unveiled its electric Ocean SUV at an event just before the show this week. The new EV will start under $40,000 with an estimated range of 250 miles. Other variants, including ones with all-wheel drive, will also be available.

Finally, perhaps the quirkiest EV on display in L.A. this year is the Indi One, which is being called the “world’s first social media-oriented” car. The idea for this concept EV is to use the built-in cameras (inside and outside the EV) to record videos and then use the car’s software to edit and upload them to social media sites.

This year’s L.A. Auto Show was also where the inaugural zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) awards, called the Zevas, took place. These awards were determined by two rounds of public voting that happened this fall. The ZEVs in contention for the awards had to meet California standards and currently be available for sale or pre-order. Over 90 vehicles qualified for at least one category, but there could only be nine winners. They are as follows:

Compact: Hyundai Kona Electric

Coupe: Alpha Motor Co. ACE Coupe

Crossover ($50,000 and below): Fisker Ocean

Crossover (above $50,000): Tesla Model Y

Hatchback/Van/Wagon: Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle

Sedan ($60,000 and below): Tesla Model 3

Sedan (above $60,000): Lucid Air

Sport Utility Vehicle: Mullen FIVE

Truck: Rivian R1T

Several electric vehicles will be available to test drive at the show on an EV Track sponsored by the Electrify America charging network. The show opens to the public Friday, November 19, and continues through November 28.